Jill and Kate Interview
You probably know Kelly Clarkson, the talented singer who sings “Since U Been Gone” and many more mega hits. Clarkson who won the first season of American Idol has since been slaying the charts but have you heard of Clarkson’s talented former back-up singers? Well if not, then you’re in luck. Jill and Kate are their names as well as their band name. The authentic and talented duo were back-up singers for Clarkson up until recently. All the fans of Clarkson probably know who Jill and Kate are because the three of them together felt like a family performing on stage. Jill and Kate are currently working on new music, a podcast and they’re also enjoying the picture perfect fall season in New England. Suffolk Voice had the chance to interview Jill and Kate while they were in Boston.
Q: What music are you guys currently working on?
A: Kate: “We just finished up in the studio recording four new songs with a producer out in Nashville. He’s a good friend of ours and we’ve wanted to work with him for a long time but he has always been really busy and our schedules have never really worked out. He had a random hole in his schedule and called us up and said “hey do you guys want to do this?” and we said Yes! Jill: “There’s and newish artist named Walker Hayes that we just recorded some songs with. We also did some covers. We haven’t put them out.”
Q: When can we expect your podcasts?
A: Kate: “Within the next two weeks will be the first one. It’s already recorded.” Jill: “We left Nashville for now and are kind of out on the road adventuring, so it’s sort of about that.” Kate: “When life doesn’t go the way you planned it, and like what to do when you’re stuck, more so about what we’ve done when we are stuck on something and what we’re currently in the middle of, that’s kind of going to be the theme of the podcasts.”
Q: How did you meet Kelly Clarkson and become back-up singers for Clarkson?
A: Jill: “We met in Boston at the Orpheum is where we first met her.” Kate: “Our manager worked with her manager originally and he got us tickets to go see her at the Orpheum. We met her at a meet and greet and we gave her our album that we just put out. We didn’t really hear from her again. We moved to LA a year later and she ended up coming to one of our shows out there at a tiny little venue. After that she asked us to singe back-up. We never tried to be back-up singers, it kind of just fell into our laps a little bit.”
Q: Is it more challenging being back-up singers or lead singers?
A: Kate: “There’s pros and cons to both. We loved our time on the road with Kelly, not only on a personal level but on a professional level when you sing with somebody like that every night. She’s just a constant professional at what she does. Vocally there is no one like her. Just learning, and not only on the vocal part, but performance side on touring, there’s just so much to learn if you want to. We got hired as Jill and Kate. We knew back-up singing would end so we could do our stuff full time. There were somedays where we were on the road 300 some days of the year so that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to make music. The last time we were recording with Kelly we were recording Heart of Stone, our first full length album in a while, we knew we wanted to be able to devote enough time to really chase it.” Jill: “We learned so much with Kelly and that experience made us better lead singers too. I think they’re both equally hard and I don’t know if one is better than the other. When you have your own music and passion, your goal is always to be your own musician.” Kate: “I think that if you have your own music it’s always your goal to devote as much time to that. But there are people out there who only want to do back-up singing and that’s their passion. They don’t necessarily want to take that step and that’s awesome.”
Q: What’s your favorite song that you’ve written or covered?
A: Kate: “One of our songs from the album Heart Of Stone, “My Love.” That song came out in such a weird way. People related to that song the most and when we played like ten songs somewhere, people would always come up to us and ask about that one. I also love the message of that song, it’s about going through a hard time and finding that unconditional love that pushes you forward. People have also used that as their wedding song.” Jill: “We didn’t right that with that thought in mind so it’s always cool when people tell us “o we played that at our wedding” and we’re like “o that’s awesome! “My Love” is typically my go to, we have couple new ones coming out and it’s always the new songs that are your favorite. There are a couple new ones that I’m super pumped about. Then there’s a couple songs on our blog that we didn’t release, there’s a song called “Craving California” that I love. My favorite cover that we’ve done is “Insensitive” by Jann Arden.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about fall in New England?
A: Jill: “Everything.” Kate: “There’s something about the air, like it’s the freshest air that you’ve ever felt. Also, everyone does the cider donuts. A couple weekends ago we went to this apple picking farm and we picked our own apples which was mind blowing, then they had these donuts that were 75 cents that were homemade and were delicious. There were probably like one hundred of them. They were warm and they were cinnamon and sugar and they were delicious.” Jill: “It’s just the feeling in the air I think. It’s like when Labor Day and September hits, it changes to fall and the air changes and there’s a little chill in the air. We love it.”
Whether you’re reading this because you’re a Jill and Kate fan or because you know Kelly Clarkson, you should take the time to listen to Jill and Kate’s music. A lot of exciting things are happening for Jill and Kate— from their new podcast starting up and new music on the way.